Government prosecutors have a friend in U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro.
The judge is presiding over the retrial of four defendants charged with various crimes stemming from their participation in the 2014 Bunkerville standoff near Cliven Bundy’s ranch. The first trial ended in April with the jury deadlocked on all counts involving the four men.
On Monday, the judge eviscerated the defense’s legal strategy, putting off limits a whole host of issues that might make it more difficult for the government to win convictions. The defendants will be forbidden from arguing that they were exercising their constitutional rights to peaceably assemble and bear arms. They may not highlight the actions of BLM agents in the days leading up to the incident or mention federal gaffes such as the ill-advised “First Amendment” zone created for protesters.
Breaking News from CRBS!
Ashley Angleton, anchorperson: President Donald Trump and his entire extended family attended a performance of the Russian ballet, The Nutcracker, December 21, 2015. Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet troupe performed at New York’s Lincoln Center.
Joe Scabrous, anchorperson: You touched on it, Ashley, but I think it’s important to note right here that the ballet was composed by a Russian, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky—you can tell he’s Russian by his name—and performed by an all-Russian cast. The Nutcracker and The 1812 Overture are this Thaikovsky’s two most famous works. The 1812 Overture commemorates the War of 1812, and we know that a nutcracker cracks nuts, slang for testicles. So his most famous works pay tribute to Russian propensities for depraved sexual violence and war.
In April, Reason detailed a report from the watchdog group The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) that found the agency “seized more than $17 million from innocent business owners over a two-year period using obscure anti-money laundering rules and civil asset forfeiture.” From Reason:
The inspector general found money seized and forfeited by the IRS was legally obtained in 91 percent of a sample of 278 structuring investigations it reviewed occurring between fiscal years 2012 and 2014. Altogether, those funds totalled $17.1 million and involved 231 cases.
“That is just a shocking, shocking statistic,” says Robert Johnson, an attorney at the Institute for Justice. “It shows the cases we’ve been bringing are not isolated incidents by any stretch of the imagination. This is the bread and butter of what the IRS has been doing for years.”
The inspector general also found that, in 54 cases, property owners gave reasonable explanations for why their deposits did not exceed $10,000, but in most of those cases there was no evidence that IRS investigated their explanations.
In addition, the inspector general found evidence “that in at least 37 cases the Government bargained nonprosecution in order to resolve the civil forfeiture.” In other words, the IRS leveraged its civil forfeiture cases by threatening to file criminal charges.
A good start. Now we need legislation passed into law eliminating asset forfeiture by law enforcement. This country was not founded upon the legalized theft of property by police.
In a relatively shocking article – don’t forget the Vatican has been extremely outspoken for a man in his office – a close ally of Pope Francis has written in a widely-read Vatican publication attacking Stephen Bannon, the senior White House strategist and lamenting a drift towards fundamentalism among some US conservative Catholics who backed Donald Trump as president.
The tone of the piece suggests an even deeper concern than expected within the Vatican about the direction of the US under Mr Trump.
Pope Francis and Mr Trump held a private meeting at the Vatican in late May, in an attempt to establish a positive dialogue after some indirect — and direct — clashes in recent years over climate change and immigration. But what seemed to trouble Fr Spadaro and Fr Figueroa even more was the embrace by many Catholics of the “stigmatisation of enemies who are often demonised”.
Is this the best that the Catholic church can come up with to cover the news of “a drug-fueled gay-sex party at an apartment belonging to an aide of one of Pope Francis’ key advisers”? Refresh my memory: what is Armageddon and where is it detailed?
By Bill Gertz
The United States faces a growing threat of ballistic and cruise missiles from China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, according to a military intelligence report.
“Ballistic and cruise missiles present a significant threat to U.S. and allied forces overseas, and to the United States and its territories,” states the latest report by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center in Ohio.
The report warns that both China and Russia are expanding their force of strategic nuclear missiles with new multi-warhead weapons.
Civil forfeiture remains a controversial issue in America since it’s “a process by which the government can take and sell your property without ever convicting, or even charging, you with a crime.” The procedures are civil, which means defendants do not receive the same protections given to criminal defendants.
Connecticut has put an end to this procedure when the legislature passed a law that bans civil forfeiture without a criminal conviction.
They should spend their time learning critical thinking skills – something this woman clearly lacks.