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Crime The Trump Adminstration

Steve Bannon Forced To Surrender To Authorities On Criminal Charges In New York: Report

 

Already facing a two-year prison term in federal prison after being found guilty for contempt of Congress, Steve Bannon, a former political strategist for failed ex-president Donald Trump, will surrender to New York authorities on Thursday for his role in an alleged scheme to defraud contributors to a $25 million fundraising effort for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to The Washington Post:

The precise details of the state case could not be confirmed Tuesday evening. But people familiar with the situation, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sealed indictment, suggested the prosecution will likely mirror aspects of the federal case in which Bannon was pardoned.

In that indictment, prosecutors alleged that Bannon and several others defrauded contributors to a private, $25 million fundraising effort, called “We Build the Wall,” taking funds that donors were told would support construction of a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Shortly after news broke of the latest indictment against Bannon, he lashed out in statement which reads in part, “The Soros-backed DA has now decided to pursue phony charges against me 60 days before the midterm election because WarRoom is the major source of the MAGA grassroots movement. The SDNY did the exact same thing in August 2020 to try to take me out of the election. It didn’t work then, it certainly won’t work now.”

Ironically, Bannon was pardoned by Trump on federal charges connected to the “We Build the Wall” fundraising scheme, but that pardon doesn’t protect him from being indicted and put on trial in New York. Bannon pleaded not guilty to those charges, which included allegations that he had personally pocketed $1 million of the donated funds.

Bannon may also be in further legal jeopardy for his role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. His name has come up frequently during the public hearings being conducted by the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6.

Here’s more on Bannon’s contempt of Congress conviction:

Categories
Crime GOP Sex Scandals

‘Methodical’ Prosecutor Preparing Airtight Case Against Matt Gaetz – Indictments Expected After Midterms

Despite the legal cloud hanging over him, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) won his primary on Tuesday and will be on the ballot in November. He is also expected to win re-election.

But that victory will likely be pyrrhic, as a new report from The Daily Beast reveals the main federal prosecutor working on the sex trafficking case against Gaetz is being incredibly “methodical” and is expected to unseal any indictments against the congressman after the midterm elections.

Lyle Mazin, a criminal defense attorney who represents a witness in the case, told The Daily Beast that the quiet should not be misconstrued as reluctance on the part of Roger Handberg, a federal prosecutor who led the local team conducting the investigation and now leads the Florida Middle District U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“He’s methodical. He doesn’t let anything go,” Mazin said. “If you’re going after a monster, you have to get it right—especially when you have a bunch of Trump supporters who’ll come after you.”

Indictments and plea deals have already been reached with key figures in the sex trafficking probe, and the person who can do the most damage to Gaetz — former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, who is known as Gaetz’s “wingman” — continues to provide a road map that investigators are following as they get closer to charging the congressman.

Any charges, however, won’t be filed before the election on November 8:

That day, if it comes, is likely still months off. Two attorneys said prosecutors will take extreme steps to avoid the appearance of interfering with the midterms, and expected any announcements involving Gaetz would likely come several weeks after the November election.

The slow nature of the investigation has frustrated some who are cooperating with prosecutors, though they say they remain optimistic the delay will result in making sure Gaetz pays the price for his alleged crimes:

“We know for a fact that there are dozens of other actors who were involved in drug-fueled sex parties with underage girls and other criminal financial schemes. If at the end of the day only two or three people are held to account by the feds, that would be a real miscarriage of justice and transparency,” said David Bear, an Orlando attorney who has advised several people who would consider themselves victims of Greenberg’s abuse of power while in office.

 

After he was victorious on Tuesday, Gaetz told family and friends he expected to win in November and return to the House where he would be part of a group of “Republicans with a will to fight and a backbone.”

But even if he is re-elected, Gaetz is facing a “fight” that will take a hell of a lot more than backbone and fiery rhetoric to win.

 

Categories
Crime Donald Trump Espionage National Security The Trump Adminstration

18 Former Trump Officials Say His ‘Standing Order’ On Declassifying Top Secret Documents Is BS

According to disgraced, one-term former president Donald Trump, he had a “standing order” that stipulated any classified documents he took from the Oval Office to the White House residence residence, meaning it wasn’t improper or illegal for him to have thousands of top secret files at his Mar-a-Lago resort because he had already declassified them.

But 18 former officials who served in the Trump administration, no order was ever issued and the ex-president is lying yet again, according to a report from CNN.

“Nothing approaching an order that foolish was ever given,” said John Kelly, who served as Trump’s chief of staff for 17 months from 2017 to 2019. “And I can’t imagine anyone that worked at the White House after me that would have simply shrugged their shoulders and allowed that order to go forward without dying in the ditch trying to stop it.”

Mick Mulvaney, who succeeded Kelly as acting White House chief of staff, also dismissed the idea and told CNN he was “not aware of a general standing order” during his tenure.

A senior White House official dubbed Trump’s assertion of automatic declassification “total nonsense,” adding, “If that’s true, where is the order with his signature on it? If that were the case, there would have been tremendous pushback from the Intel Community and DoD, which would almost certainly have become known to Intel and Armed Services Committees on the Hill.”

Another fact that directly undercuts Trump’s claim of a “standing order” of declassification according to David Laufman, the former chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence division, is that “Programs and officials would have been notified. There is no evidence they were.”

Multiple sources said they believed that Trump’s claim the documents were declassified was nothing more than a transparent attempt to try to defend himself for taking the documents to Mar-a-Lago.

“There is a process to declassify, the president can’t just wave a magic wand,” a former senior Trump White House official said.

Meanwhile, Trump and his ragtag collection of so-called “attorneys” are trying to get the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant unsealed without any redactions, a move that could threaten the lives of federal law enforcement officials and jeopardize the ongoing Justice Department investigation of whether or not the former president violated the Espionage Act.

A federal magistrate said Thursday that the DOJ has until Thursday, Aug. 25 to submit a redacted version of the affidavit which he will then rule on.

Categories
Congress Crime GOP

Madison Cawthorn Facing Indictment For Insider Trading As Part Of Crypto Scheme

Each day seems to bring new controversy and trouble for Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), and now he’s facing being indicted for insider trading because he took part in a cryptocurrency scheme that crashed and burned.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Rep. Madison Cawthorn may have violated federal insider trading laws as he hyped up an alleged pump-and-dump cryptocurrency scheme, multiple watchdog groups told the Washington Examiner.

On Dec. 29, the beleaguered North Carolina congressman posed at a party with James Koutoulas, a hedge fund manager and the ringleader of the Let’s Go Brandon cryptocurrency, a meme coin set up in the wake of the chant mocking President Joe Biden.

“LGB legends. … Tomorrow we go to the moon!” Cawthorn, who has stated publicly he owns the cryptocurrency, posted on Instagram in response to the picture posted on Koutoulas’s Instagram page.

Cawthorn’s posting suggests that he had “advance nonpublic knowledge” of a deal that had been made with NASCAR driver Brandon Brown, who received sponsorship from LGB, which led to a 75% spike in LGBCoin’s value:

According to watchdogs, “the post, combined with Cawthorn’s statement that he owns LGBCoin, warrants an investigation from the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to determine whether the lawmaker violated federal insider trading laws.”

Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette, the government affairs manager for Project on Government Oversight, a federal watchdog group, said the appearance Cawthorn has given reeks of insider information:

“This does look like a classic case of you got some insider information and acting on that information. And that’s illegal.

“I think there’s probably a strong case here. I don’t want to prejudge, but based on everything that’s out there, I think there is a very strong possibility that if someone is going to investigate this, they’re going to find something.”

LBGCoin, it should be noted, has collapsed in value and is now trading 95% below its peak price, which was reached in late December of last year.

Cawthorn has participated in several events intended to raise awareness and interest from potential investors, including one held in March at a Florida arena:

A fellow Republican has also called for Cawthorn to be investigated for his role in LGBCoin, with Sen. Thom Tillis (NC) saying:

“Insider trading by a member of Congress is a serious betrayal of their oath, and Congressman Cawthorn owes North Carolinians an explanation. There needs to be a thorough and bipartisan inquiry into the matter by the House Ethics Committee. #ncpol

Categories
Capitol Insurrection Crime Joe Biden WTF?!

Capitol Rioter Asks Judge To Move His Trial Because Biden Is Too Popular In Washington, DC

When he agreed to take part in the storming of the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, Sean Michael McHugh must have realized that his actions could cause big legal problems for him. If he didn’t, then he’s clearly not very bright.

But now that McHugh is facing being tried on eight felony and two misdemeanor counts, he’s whining that he can’t possibly get a fair trial in the location where he allegedly committed those crimes, Washington, D.C.

What’s wrong with D.C.? According to McHugh and his attorneys, President Joe Biden is way too popular in the District.

The Sacramento Bee reports:

In their request to move his trial, McHugh’s lawyers also argue that President Joe Biden won 92 percent of the D.C. vote, further endangering the possibility of a fair trial for supporters of former President Donald Trump.

“According to the government’s theory of the case, Mr. McHugh and the others charged in connection with January 6 did what they did in order to prevent Joseph Biden from becoming President notwithstanding his share of the electoral and popular vote,” they wrote. “That is, the government’s theory is that Mr. McHugh and others were seeking to nullify the votes of an overwhelming majority of District residents – in the only national election in which District residents have any say, given their lack of representation in Congress.”

So now we’re supposed to ask every potential juror who they voted for? Is this suddenly going to become a strategy for jury selection?

Be sure and note the irony of the situation, too: McHugh wanted to overturn the election even though Trump clearly lost, but he thinks Biden voters can’t be impartial jurors.

Oh, and because these people who broke the law by attacking the Capitol are being prosecuted, McHugh’s lawyers assert, that could also taint the jury pool because people who live in D.C. might fear he and other rioters would attack again:

“As such, the residents of the District sitting as jurors are highly likely to view Mr. McHugh not only as someone who victimized them, but also as someone who might victimize them again in the future, raising a concern about punishing for propensity,” McHugh’s lawyers argued. “Given the electoral makeup of the District, it would be impossible to empanel a jury that was not full of people that the government charges were the targets of Mr. McHugh’s alleged offenses.”

Here’s hoping that wherever Sean Michael McHugh is eventually tried, the judge will throw the proverbial book at him.